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Window Replacements

Top 21 frequently asked questions for window replacements

April 20th, 2021 | 9 min. read

Top 21 frequently asked questions for window replacements

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How much does a window replacement cost? What is tempered glass? Which window is right for me? What does single-hung mean? 

When looking to get your windows replaced, you’re going to have a lot of questions running through your mind. 

Video link below: "Questions to ask when shopping for windows." 

Unless you work in the industry, there is a lot of information about windows you want to know from pricing, material, and parts of the window. 

As one of the top window replacement companies in San Antonio, our staff at Southwest Exteriors answers dozens, if not hundreds, of window questions every day. We want you to know all you need to know so you are prepared and will feel confident in your window replacement project.

In this article, we will outline the most frequently asked questions surrounding window replacements. We want to answer your questions before you have to ask them and want to provide you with the information you want to know.

We’ll answer your questions about window pricing, glass, and questions specific to Southwest Exteriors and our processes. 

1. What is the price of a standard window?

The price of a standard 3 ft. x 5 ft. window can range anywhere from $200-500 on the low end and $1,400-3,000 on the high end.

When it comes to window pricing, there are a lot of factors that go into it. Things like window material, size, and the contractor you choose for the job will affect how much you are going to pay

It is important to remember that what you pay for your window replacement most likely reflects on the quality of the job. You can pay a contractor to replace your window for only $200, but with that price, you need to consider the quality of the window, installation, and warranty.

2. What is the maximum size window Southwest Exteriors can install?

We can install a window up to 45 feet squared, meaning the length times the width of the window cannot exceed 45. 

A window that size must be fixed, meaning it is not able to open and close. 

Each manufacturer we work with has a maximum size that can be produced, and they are all different.

Similarly, every window contractor will differ in the maximum size of the window they can install. If you are looking to replace an entire wall with windows, you will want to look into a contractor and manufacturer that specializes in large windows.

3. Can you turn a door into a window?

Absolutely. The easiest way to convert a door opening into a window is to simply replace it with a window the same size as the door.

If you want to replace a door with a smaller size window, that is possible too. Typically if you hire a replacement window contractor for the job like Southwest Exteriors, a contractor who specializes in walls and exterior remodeling will need to be brought in to be able to fill in the unwanted space. 

4. What is low-E glass?

Low-E glass means glass with low emissivity. Emissivity means the amount of thermal radiation that is given off by a surface. 

A window with low-E glass means it will reflect the hot or cold back to where it came from (the outside of your home). Windows with low-E are incredibly energy-efficient and help to keep your home insulated.

5. Do I need to be home during the technical measurements and installation?

It is best if all homeowners or decision-makers in the home are present during the technical measures and installation days. We recommend this so that everyone who is needed can review the final product decisions and know the plan for installation. 

We also ask that all homeowners or decision-makers are present during the initial consultation

6. What product do you recommend to clean my windows with?

Typically, professional window cleaners will not be using Windex to clean your windows. However, any non-ammonia glass cleaner that is not toxic or harmful will do just fine to clean your windows.

Especially in Texas, the best time to clean your windows is in the morning or evening before the heat of the day. This will give you the best clean.

If you clean your windows while it is hot, you’re going to see some streaks because the sun will evaporate the cleaning product before you can finish.

7. Can you repair my existing window? 

Southwest Exteriors specializes in window replacements. We do not do any repairs on existing windows unless it is a Southwest Exteriors window. 

Any repairs or replacements will be covered under our lifetime warranty.

8. Why do stucco windows need special treatment?

Stucco is a cement-based material used for siding around windows and on walls to give it a textured finish. 

Stucco banding around windows makes it more difficult to remove the window without damaging the weatherproofing. They require special treatment and care to remove and replace.

9. Do you have to remove rock or brick on the walls to replace a window?

In most cases, no. There is no reason that brick or rock walls should be removed to replace a window.

The only circumstance where it would need to be removed is if the exterior of your home has a rock rough cut finish and a rock was over the window opening. Otherwise, a contractor should not have to remove your rock or brick wall to replace a window.

10. What is tempered glass?

Tempering the glass is a process that adds strength to the glass. If the glass were to break, it would shatter into small, pebble-sized pieces as opposed to shattering into large shards. 

Most windshields on vehicles are made of tempered glass, but not all windows need to be tempered.

11. When do I need tempered windows?

There are four common cases where you need tempered windows.

  1. If a window is within 24 in. of a swinging door

  2. If a window is less than 18 in. off of the floor or larger than 9 ft.²

  3. If a window is located directly above a wet area such as a shower or bathtub

  4. If a window is located less than 36 in. away from a walkway or less than 60 in. above a landing of a staircase

12. Which window material is best?

For the local San Antonian, a composite window frame is recommended because of its durability against the harsh climate. Composite windows are less likely to warp shape in the high Texas heat.

However, depending on the cost, style, and functionality you are looking to get out of a window, there are many different window types to choose from.

13. Isn’t any window I get better than what I have now?

If you’ve been in your house for many years and know your windows are 15-20 years old, the answer is probably. The longer a window has been in a wall, the more it has wear and tear.

The lifespan of a replacement window is an important factor when determining the return-on-investment of your project. If you replace your 20-year-old windows with inexpensive windows that have a 5-year lifespan, it is not much better than keeping your old windows.

14. Why is there such a wide range of pricing?

The range of cost for replacement windows all comes down to quality. A low-quality window is going to be low-cost just as a high-quality window is going to be a higher cost. 

Less expensive windows typically also have a lower lifespan. When you pay for a higher quality window, you’re paying for it to last.

15. What do I do if something breaks in my window?

If something breaks in your Southwest Exteriors window, the cost of the installation, labor, and part of the window is covered under your lifetime warranty. 

With Southwest Exteriors, we are with you for a lifetime. No matter if you live in your home for five years or 50, we have you covered.

16. What is the NFRC rating?

The NFRC is the National Fenestration Rating Council, and they are an organization that works to advance energy efficiency in windows, doors, and skylights. 

An NFRC label on a window measures the U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, visible transmittance, and air leakage all to tell you how energy-efficient a window is. 

17. What does single-hung mean?

A single-hung window means that it can only slide up and down from the bottom sash.

A double-hung window can slide up and down from both the top and bottom sash and can also tilt horizontally.

18. What is elastomeric foam and why do I need it?

Elastomeric foam is a rubber-like foam that is used in between the window and wall during the installation process.

Because of its rubber-like properties, it can withstand the movement of your home without getting damaged. It is also a strong weather and water protector. 

When other less expensive foams are used to put a window in place, they do not last as long and can let water leak through the window.

19. What is SunShield?

SunShield is made of a specific composite vinyl for windows to protect them against the climate. It is made to protect against UV rays and keep solar heat out of your home.

20. Can I replace the windows in my manufactured home?

Usually, yes. As long as there is a wall structure in the interior of the home, you can put a window in it. 

21. Will I get my money back if I replace my windows before I sell my home?

The truth is that it is not worth your money to replace your windows when trying to sell your home. It can be a costly project that will not give you a high return on investment when selling your home.

If you have old windows and want to spruce them up before putting your home on the market, a less expensive alternative to replacing the entire window is to just replace the glass. 

Research and preparation before your window replacement are crucial.

No matter what stage of the window replacement process you are in, constant research and education are important. You want to know exactly what you’re getting into to avoid potential surprises or blindsides in case a company is not honest with you. 

With Southwest Exteriors, we want you to be thoroughly educated on all aspects of your project and will answer any questions you may have. 

Reading educational articles, company reviews, and FAQ lists are the best way to prepare for your project and answer your questions before going into a consultation.

Are you ready to replace your windows? Fill out the form on our website to schedule a free in-home consultation. Virtual consultations are available for your comfort and safety.